My senior year in college a guy told me he loved me for the first time.
It was right before Spring Break. I was 21 years old. And I looked into his sweet eyes and told him I thought we’d be better off as friends. Which is what we were anyway.
After that, he told me he didn’t think we should talk. We were in a creative writing class together and, well, the bar scene at Clemson isn’t all that huge, so not talking to someone (and thus, trying not to see them) when everyone knows you’re good friends is a little … difficult. But even more so than that, I didn’t understand. Hey, he loved me and all that jazz. And even if I didn’t love him like that, I did love him. I loved his friendship. And I didn’t understand how you could love someone and not want them in your life in whatever way they were willing to give you. And I expressed that sentiment to him. Over text message. (Ah, the days when text messaging was young and fresh.)
He heard it, too. And he was my friend. Still is. Still tells me he loves me, too. He tells me that whenever I’m ready we will sail away together. I’ll randomly get pictures from him of his dog or his view from his place in New York. We’ll vent about relationships. He’ll tell me I deserve the world.
I mean, how awesome is it to have someone who loved me (and still does) on dial up like that?
And why can’t it always be like that?
I’ve never been really good at giving up the people I love. Guys, girls, you name it. This past year has taught me a whole lot. And I credit my close girl friends for that in so many ways. I used to be this person who held on to everyone, no matter how much they hurt me or how little they made me feel. But I have had to let go some this year at times when I’ve been really hurting. It hasn’t been easy for me. It’s involved a lot of hurt, tears at every instance, and a dent in my self esteem, for sure. Because it’s hard to accept when someone doesn’t seem to care about you as much as you have cared about them.
But the good friends are always there. Because they know your awesomeness. And sometimes they give you space when they know you need it, but they can never really let go, they never quit caring. The people that know you? That love you or have loved you? They should know enough to never let you go, right? Because why would they ever want to let you go?
Or maybe I’m just on an island of my own.